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He awoke with flu-like symptoms and his condition was so in doubt the team got Xfinity Series driver John Hunter Nemechek suited up and fitted in Reddick’s seat in case he was needed as a relief driver.
Once the race got underway, however, Reddick remained behind the wheel, likely determined to continue in part by the fact his car was fast enough to contend for the win.
Reddick found himself up front late in the race as Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano dueled for the win. He never led a lap but was in the mix for the win on the final lap and ended up with a fifth-place finish.
“We had Toyotas lined up there and I didn’t know if that was our move there with all three together or Christopher (Bell) was going to do it on his own,” Reddick said.
Tyler Reddick, 23XI Racing, Xfinity 10G Network Toyota Camry
Photo by: Nigel Kinrade / NKP / Motorsport Images
Bell ended up giving Logano a push into the lead on the final lap and Logano – driving a Ford – captured his first win of the 2023 season.
“We’ll talk about it for sure. I don’t know, maybe if we all would have went, it would have worked out for one of us. I’m not really sure,” Reddick said. “It didn’t really work for one of us so it’s definitely something for us to think about so that one of us can win the race there.
“It’s a bummer that we let someone else get it done.”
Still, the strong finish was much needed for Reddick, who started the year wrecking out of the year’s first two races. He now has consecutive top-five finishes.
After the race, Keselowski said Reddick deserved better than a fifth-place finish for how he ran the final laps.
“There was definitely some hard work going on. Joey was doing Joey things. He was making the bottom (lane) work really good. For me, I appreciate his (Keselowski’s) comments there, he’s done a lot for me in my career in the past,” Reddick said.
“I was also at the same time trying to create an opportunity where all three – myself, Christopher Bell and Denny Hamlin could all break away and take advantage of momentum. It didn’t quite work out timing-wise as it needed to for that.
“All in all, it was an okay day.”